By Adrian Justins
Furry and not so furry friends have provided much-needed companionship and entertainment for many during recent lockdowns. With the increased likelihood of returning to the workplace, gadgets can help ensure that pets — cats and dogs especially — are well looked after, even in our absence.
With three acres of grounds including extensive lawns, this spacious five-bedroom house in Jersey, in the Channel Islands, has plenty of space for pets to roam and is handy for dog-walking in nearby St Aubin's Bay. The utility room has a deep sink, ideal for cleaning and drying a wet hound. The property is on the market for £16.5m.
The new owners might want to consider investing in one or more of these high-tech solutions designed to reduce the hassle of pet ownership, or even to improve the health and wellbeing of their four-legged friend.
Pawbo interactive dog camera, £139.99
Wi-Fi security cameras can provide real-time visual monitoring of a pet from afar but the Pawbo+, available from RomyPets, has two-way vocal communication. Up to eight users can chat simultaneously with the pet using a phone app and the animal’s owner can dispense treats remotely.
Animals can be entertained by a light pointer game on the camera that can be controlled using the app or be set to play automatically. The app also records video clips and snapshots to share on social media.
Litter-Robot 3 Connect smart litter tray, £545
This litter tray has a sensor that detects when a cat (weighing 2.3kg or more) has climbed out after making a call of nature. After use, the unit enters a cleaning cycle that sifts the waste from the litter and deposits the clumps into a drawer for disposal. A phone app indicates how full the waste drawer is and how frequently the tray is being used, which can help indicate health problems.
Weenect GPS cat tracker, £49.99 plus subscription from £3.75 per month
If details of your pet’s toilet habits are not enough, the Weenect 2 tracker uses a built-in sim card monitored by global positioning satellites (GPS) to provide live updates to a phone app of your cat’s location. Owners can identify the perimeter of their kitty’s territory and the places where it spends the most time.
If the animal is nearby but hiding in a bush, activating the collar’s ringing feature will help to aurally pinpoint its location. The collar also features a training mode: by vibrating or ringing the tracker at mealtimes, the cat can learn to associate the two events so it can eventually be called for dinner using the app.
PetSafe automatic feeder, £129.99
Pets are not always known for waiting patiently for their owner to get out of bed in the morning to feed them. This pet feeder by PetSafe, available from Amazon, takes care of giving a cat or dog a meal by automatically dispensing dry or semi-moist food at preset times into a bowl.
Portion sizes can vary between 29ml-946ml, with a slow-feed option that can dispense larger meals gradually over a 15-minute period. Mealtimes can be set using a phone app, which can also receive notifications of usage and set off an alert when the hopper needs refilling.
PitPat dog activity monitor, £39
Designed to be attached to a collar or harness, PitPat is a monitor that senses the natural gait of a dog to work out how much exercise it is getting. The waterproof device uses AI to differentiate between walking, running, playing and resting. The number of minutes spent on each activity is shown on a phone app, which allows the owner to see if their hound is getting the right amount of exercise according to its breed, age, sex and weight.
The device does not have GPS tracking, but the sensor can provide estimates of the distance covered and number of calories burnt to help owners decide how much food to give their canine every day.
Property photograph: Christie’s International Real Estate